The Top 15 Countdown – #4: The Last Gasp Goal

Franklin Girls Lacrosse

It was a bit of a see-saw battle in the Division 1 East Finals between Franklin and Concord-Carlisle. The Patriots’ offense went to work right away before Franklin finally settled down and took control for the middle portion of the game. In the second half, the Patriots battled back.

But Franklin went with the strategy of keep away, and it worked — well, almost. Leading 10-9 with a minute to go until they would crowned D1 East Champs, the Panthers turned it over and within 20 seconds, their one-goal lead turned into a one-goal deficit to CC.

As the final seconds ticked away, it appeared that it would be the Patriots that would take the title, but with just two seconds left, everything changed again.

Ryan Lanigan covered the game for

If you blinked, you might have missed it. 

In the final minute of play, Franklin saw their one goal lead turn into a one goal deficit and then with just two seconds left, tied the game to send it to overtime, where they scored the lone goal to best top-seeded Concord-Carlisle, 12-11, to claim their first ever D1 East Sectional Championship. 

“The girls never gave up,” Franklin head coach Kristin Igoe said. “Our defense is resilient, they got the ball back and pushed it down. I just don’t think they ever doubted themselves.”

Leading 10-9 with about four minutes to play, the Panthers gained possession and played over three minutes of keep away from the Patriots. Even with constant double teams and even triple teams, Franklin kept possession until just under one minute left in the game.

The turnover proved costly as CC scampered up the field and captain Emma Brandhorst scored the tying goal with 43 seconds left. On the ensuing face-off, the Patriots took control, sprinted down again and netted the go-ahead goal with 31 seconds left to make it 11-10.

But the Panthers never quit, and gained possession. As time ticked away, Emily Jeffries became surrounded by a triple team, but she was able to complete a pass to sophomore Sheelagh Walsh, who charged at the goal and scored with just two seconds left in the game to tie the game, 11-11 and send it into overtime. 

“Sheelagh Walsh, to step in and take that shot is really courageous, she’s only a sophomore so it was really big for us,” Igoe added.

In overtime – which is two three-minute periods that is not golden-goal – the Panthers were able to force a turnover before keeping possession in the offensive zone for over a minute. After the original targets across the middle were covered, the ball ended up with Maegan Schmauder up top.

Schamuder took it right up the middle past her defender and slotted it home with one minute left in the first overtime and it turned out to be the lone goal of the overtime period.

Before every tournament game this season, Maegan Schmauder’s mentality has been, “Just don’t make this your last one.”

The senior attack made sure she didn’t play her final high school game on Sunday at Memorial Field, scoring the winning goal two minutes into overtime to push No. 4 Franklin past No. 7 Concord Carlisle, 12-11, in the Division 1 East final.

Franklin sophomore [Sheelagh Walsh] had forced OT with a goal with two seconds remaining in regulation.

Though Schmauder failed to score in regulation, coach Kristin Igoe’s strategy was to get the ball onto the stick of the team’s best shooter in OT.

“Maegan had a tough shooting day, but I think she’s one of our best shooters. So, I never lost faith in her and I actually wanted her to take that shot,” Igoe said.

Despite falling behind, 3-0, Franklin rallied for a 7-4 lead at the half.

Sheelagh Walsh

Franklin’s Sheelagh Walsh celebrates scoring the tying goal with two seconds left in regulation. (Ryan Lanigan/

The Franklin girls lacrosse team found itself in a familiar situation in the Division 1 East championship on Sunday.

For the second straight game, the Panthers tied the score in the closing seconds, then prevailed in overtime. This time Franklin defeated Concord-Carlisle, 12-11 at Memorial Field.

Franklin (19-3) will play Longmeadow in the state semifinals on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at West Springfield High School.

Sheelagh Walsh sent the game into overtime when she scored with two seconds remaining in regulation, just seconds after C-C goalie Conley Ernst stopped one of her shots. Emily Jeffries assisted on the tying goal.

With one minute left in the first half the six-minute, non-sudden-death overtime period, Maegan Schmauder scored to put Franklin ahead. Concord-Carlisle won the draw at the beginning of overtime, but Tracy Pisani came up with the ground ball in the defensive end that led to the winning goal.

“I was the last resort on that play,” Schmauder said. “We worked hard and practiced for this situation.”

Ryan Lanigan
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